Published On: Tue, Mar 5th, 2024

FIA issue statement in wake of Mohammed Ben Sulayem allegations as chief in the spotlight | F1 | Sport

The FIA have released a statement after chief Mohammed Ben Sulayem was accused of trying to withdraw the licence for last year’s Las Vegas Grand Prix just days before the event took place and also interfering with the outcome of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

On Tuesday, BBC Sport reported that the FIA president has been accused by a whistleblower of attempting to have the Las Vegas GP called off. Ben Sulayem is said to have told organisers to find a way to stop the circuit from being passed as safe, which included searching for a way to withdraw its licence.

The whistleblower claims to have been contacted by a manager who was instructed ‘on behest of the FIA president’ to identify any concerns with the track before the weekend of racing got underway in the hope that the licence would be withhold.

The same whistleblower has also reportedly informed the FIA that Ben Sulayem interfered with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to overturn a penalty given to Fernando Alonso. The Aston Martin star was given a 10-second penalty for having work done to his car whilst he was serving a five-second penalty. As a result, he would have dropped from third to fourth in the placings, though the overturn meant that he remained in the top three. The matter is said to bnow being investigated by the FIA’s ethics committee.

The FIA have now confirmed that the report has been submitted to their compliance officer, and a statement has now been released – though Ben Sulayem is not identified as the accused party by the body.

The statement read: “FIA confirms that the Compliance Officer has received a report detailing potential allegations involving certain members of its governing bodies. The Compliance Department is assessing these concerns, as is common practice in these matters, to ensure that due process is meticulously followed.”

The Las Vegas GP, which was the penultimate race of the season, went ahead as planned and largely viewed as a success. However, it remains to be seen whether the lucrative event will be remembered in the same depending on the outcome of the FIA’s investigation into the recent accusations.

It remains to be seen the outcome of FIA’s investigation, both in regards to the Vegas race and also the Saudi Arabian GP, and how Ben Sulayem responds to the accusations.

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